Why is Mary so good and Bill so mediocre? The difference between the successful salesperson and the unsuccessful salesperson is this: the successful salesperson is in the habit of doing things the unsuccessful sales person doesn’t do. Those three little words: in the habit. Here is the deal: we are all in sales. Whether you are an HR Manager selling your boss on why he should promote you or you’re a salesperson selling a multi-million dollar opportunity, you should understand the habits of successful sales. The best companies make the right habits an integral part of their training to ensure their sales people have mastered the following:
They seek to understand, before asking to be understood. They sell with questions, not answers. They know that taking the time to prepare and ask the right questions to determine the customer’s needs and unrealized wants is key to advancing the relationship and building trust.
They understand the principle of “Two Ears and One Mouth.” Think about what you were born with. It is a constant reminder as a sales person you should be doing AT LEAST twice as much listening as talking. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself this: when was the last time you learned something while speaking? Listening is the most important thing you can do with a customer (or in any relationship) because what you are actually conveying to them is this: Your thoughts are more important than mine.
They are always in the customer’s operating reality. This is sort of “empathy on steroids.” They are able to see problems and opportunities as they appear through the customer’s eyes. They understand exactly how it is impacting the customer’s business and their customer personally.
They plan using Call Planning Worksheets (CPW). With the average B2B sales call costing in excess of $400, it is amazing that we still see sales organizations “winging” it on sales calls in 2015. Every CPW should have a primary and secondary objective, stage of the customer’s buying or decision process, a list of questions to uncover needs, wants and gap, potential objections and responses. If you cannot take the time to plan for a sales call, you will never master 1 through 3 above and you don’t deserve the customer’s business!
They don’t fear customer objections--they welcome them. Sales superstars have mastered objection handling and actually plan for them (see #4). They understand that an objection is merely a request for more information. It shows the customer is engaged. They have a specific process woven into their DNA that ensures they ask a clarifying question before responding to the customer’s objection.
They research their customer prior to their meeting. This feeds the CPW. They review the customer’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, company website, press releases—anything they can to gain a better understanding of the customer, their company and their critical concerns. It also demonstrates to the customer they have invested in the relationship.
They operate in a steady state of uneasiness. They have a healthy paranoia and an attention to detail second to none. Their follow-up is impeccable and they are diligent about confirming things in writing.
They continually invest in their own personal development. They understand that everything I life is in motion. Being